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Old 04-18-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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Charging Problem

I have an issue with my charging system... When the converter is plugged into shore power the batteries do not charge... If not plugged in and on Generator power the batteries ARE charged. They also are charged with the alternator just fine, it is just when plugged in to shore power I cannot get them to charge.. Any ideas on this?
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Year , make and model of RV would help. And is it a 50A or 30A electrical system?

There should be no difference between generator and shore power - the generator merely supplies power to the RV in lieu of shore power - it does not charge the batteries directly.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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The only difference in the two power sources is the changeover box. I would take the cover off the box and check the wires and points.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by aeast View Post
I have an issue with my charging system... When the converter is plugged into shore power the batteries do not charge... If not plugged in and on Generator power the batteries ARE charged. They also are charged with the alternator just fine, it is just when plugged in to shore power I cannot get them to charge.. Any ideas on this?
What do you check to see if the batts are, or aren't charging? It appears the changeover relay ain't.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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You don't mention what year, brand, and model coach you have. Nor are you specific relative to which (or all) batteries are not charging. No criticism, just need clarification on your problem.

If the batteries that are not charging when plugged into shore power are the engine batteries, this may be as designed. There are aftermarket products to provide a trickle charge to the engine batteries, such as Trik-L-Start.

However, your post states that the batteries are being charged from the generator. This is puzzling, as the converter/charger will charge the house batteries when getting a 110V source. Unless, as others have pointed out, there is an issue with the transfer switch. May be your problem.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by aeast View Post
I have an issue with my charging system... When the converter is plugged into shore power the batteries do not charge... If not plugged in and on Generator power the batteries ARE charged. They also are charged with the alternator just fine, it is just when plugged in to shore power I cannot get them to charge.. Any ideas on this?
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here is a source of info about your transfer switch.

Electrical Tutorial
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:45 PM   #7
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Do you have any 110 when plugged in? If the transfer switch was not working ,I would think he'd have no power when plugged in .Just thinking cause I really don't know.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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Info

MotorHome is a 77 Itasca. The Engine battery I know does not get charged by the converter, it is the house batteries that are having the issue. To check the charge use a voltmeter and just hooked it into the positive wire going to the house batteries, With the generator going I see 14.4 going to the batteries but when plugged into 110 Nothing. I will dig in check the changeover connections. I do have power in the with either 110 or Generator just no charge to the batteries.

Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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I don't have a Gen but had a similar problem with charging after a small electrical issue. There was a small short on the charging system board inside my converter/distribution panel. A soldered repair fixed for a short time but due to the age and parts availability, I just changed out the converter/distribution panel for an updated one. Available cheap on eBay if you hunt a bit, and was a much simpler job than I thought.
Trouble shooting is always the hardest part.
Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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It's not related to your transfer switch. A transfer switch will only switch between shore and generator power and has nothing to do with battery charging. Most Class C's have a power supply that has two separate sections built in. One section provides 12v regulated power to run all of the 12v systems in the RV. The other section of the power supply is dedicated to battery charging and runs based on the charging needs of the aux batteries.

So, with that said, if all of your regular 12v systems work properly when plugged into shore power, the problem lies in the charging section of the power supply or any fuses, breakers, or wiring between the power supply and the batteries. If your batteries are defective, they too could give the impression that the charging system isn't working. Note: NEVER add water to discharged "deep cell" batteries. They work differently than a regular car battery. Charge them with a regular battery charger first and then add water if necessary. If you do it the other way around, you will end up with battery acid all over everything and "dilute" the battery acid causing an under performing or even dead battery.

Fairly commonly there's a thermal breaker in the charging chain that can go bad. If you're good with a multimeter, electrical troubleshooting, and a little bit of thought, you should be able to track down the problem. Usually the problem, if in the power supply, can be attributed to a bad ballast resistor, blown rectifier diodes, or a fried charging controller board.

As stated by someone else, in older RV's, many of the parts may be unavailable or very difficult to find. Sometimes you might be able to find what you're looking for on the internet or in older "junk" RV's. Some RV dealerships keep some of the older stuff laying around for parts too. If you can't find it, it's probably best to just upgrade to a newer power supply.

I had one that had a blown ballast resistor. The resistor was very difficult to find a supplier for. I did find one though and it turned out to be a $3 part. It's well worth trying to figure it out yourself and try to repair it. New power supplys are upwards of $300 plus installation if you have someone else do it.
If you're not the type to "mess" with this sort of thing, or don't have the expertise, it's best to have an expert look into it.

How's that for a first post on this forum? :-)
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:31 AM   #11
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Oops! Wait. I just noticed something in one of your posts. You stated that there was 14.4 volts going to the battery when the generator is running but not when under shore power. You also stated that you had regular power when connected to 110 but no charging. This doesn't make sense because the generator simply provides 110 when running and not connected to shore. It also provides 110 to the power supply, where the voltage is knocked down to 12v and converted to DC. All the transfer switch does is switch between generator and shore 110. You should currently have charging in either mode of operation.

This one's an oddball! If your generator also has circuitry that provides 12v and charging, that would explain it. Never seen it that way though. A stumper!

It will be interesting to see what this actually turns out to be! Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #12
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Puzzeled...
With the generator going I see 14.4 going to the batteries but when plugged into 110 Nothing

If the wire sees 14.4 with the gen operating it is being charged, and at a too high voltage.

If on shore power zero, then the wire is isolated from the battery, and if via a diode, then charging voltage at the battery more like 13.9 which is fine.

But the generator should be powering the converter which provides the 14.4, so it looks like the connection from the converter to shore power is not being transfered.

Measure anything 12 volt in the MH, then repeat above, check on shore and generator power to confirm readings.

Also confirm voltage.

Since you state it is a '77, you likely do not have ATS, you plug your cord into an outlet connected to the generator, or into a pedistal.

Be carefull here.

If you have a BAD CONNECTION on the ground or return in your shore cord the generator will work as it is connected and crounded to the frame.

When you connect to shore power you do not have the ground or return connections then your whole MH may be floating at 120 vac above ground.

Be careful here and stay alive!
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